Feeling frenzied all the time can take a toll on your fertility. Here’s how you can chillax and boost your odds of baby-making success.
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A healthy baby is every expectant mom’s No. 1 priority. The good news? Most babies are born healthy. But a small amount (about 2 percent to 4 percent) are affected by some kind of a serious birth defect. There are a number of tests that can check on your baby’s health when you’re pregnant: Screening tests give parents-to-be an idea of the likelihood that their baby has certain kinds of problems, one such test has been in the news lately.
Already I find myself in week 8 of my first pregnancy. I’m 38 years old, so time seems to fly by faster and faster as I age. Normally, I wish for the world to just s-l-o-w d-o-w-n some. But since the day I found out I was pregnant, I’ve had that can’t-wait feeling every day. The day that I can finally meet my baby can’t come soon enough. At my next appointment at 11 weeks, James and I should be able to hear the heartbeat for the first time. For now, I’ll just have to be patient.
You may have noticed something besides your belly growing during pregnancy: your breasts. In fact, it’s not uncommon for, ahem, the girls, to grow up to two cup sizes, especially if this is your first pregnancy. This new growth is a good sign that your breasts are getting ready, all by themselves, to provide milk for your baby after delivery.
My partner James and I have been together for two years, and since close to the beginning of our relationship, we discussed the possibility of having a child if things worked out well with us. I don’t have any children, but he has a 6 year-old son from a previous relationship and relishes the role of involved father. At our one-year anniversary in January 2012, we decided to officially start “trying” and I stopped taking birth control.
After learning that you’re pregnant, your main agenda is simple: Tell your partner and celebrate! But once the happy news sinks in, the next steps can seem overwhelming. To help simplify the situation, we asked Akua Afriyie-Gray, M.D., an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Loyola Medical Center, for the most important moves a pregnant woman should make.
Will my hair texture change during pregnancy?
“Many women notice that their hair becomes thicker and fuller during pregnancy,” says Alan J. Bauman, M.D., director of the Bauman Medical Group in Boca Raton, Fla. “Some attribute this change to their prenatal vitamins, but the primary cause of the hair improvement is the change in hormone levels.”
Now that you’re pregnant, has your sex life gone into a deep freeze? If so, consider thawing it out. In most cases, not only is a roll in the hay perfectly safe through your final trimester, it’s good for your mental health and your relationship. Here, our top four reasons to get down while you’re knocked up.
When it comes to pregnancy and food, two extreme things can happen: Either you feel like you could eat an entire refrigerator’s worth of calories in 14 seconds flat, or you feel as if you could decorate your walls with your innards at even the thought of certain foods.
These opposite reactions aren’t unusual, and they don’t have to be harmful (as long as they don’t happen persistently).
Every week, a few women email to ask if their early-pregnancy spotting or discharge means they’re going to miscarry. They’re terrified and looking for reassurance and a guarantee that everything will be OK with their pregnancies. I have plenty of reassurance to offer and I wish I could offer that guarantee, but the best I can do is tell my readers that probably, everything will be OK.
Q: When should I begin taking a prenatal vitamin?
A: Start three months before you begin trying to get pregnant, if possible. “The egg starts maturing about three months before it’s released, and it’s critical that the proper nutrients are present during the earliest stages,” says OB-GYN and reproductive endocrinologist Robert Greene, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., a fertility specialist at cny Fertility center in Syracuse, N.Y.
Finding the right person to care for you and your baby during pregnancy, labor and birth is one of the most important decisions you will make, and it can help you feel confident to push for the safest, healthiest birth.
As you review doctors and midwives in your area, the following questions can help you find someone who will provide the care you are looking for. Asking questions and providing information builds trust, and it’s the best way to make sure everyone is working toward the same goal – the safest, healthiest birth possible for you and your baby.